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lokisnow

Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I don't think that Aurang has the same backup ability that the progenitors do. I'm not sure that Aurang's memories are even particularly real.

Well, that is plausible.  Why give your best to what are essentially throw away shock troops?  Although I see no reason to doubt what Aurang remembers, even if it is fragmentary.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

As far as I could tell the sorcery basically entirely kicked their ass when they were most functionally powerful technologically. And while Ark would have been useful, there's nothing to indicate that Ark does anything more than what the Inchoroi already do - laser weapons, nukes, biological terror weapons. Hell, even the No-God is another relic of Ark apparently, though why it wasn't ever brought up until after the humans get on board when they apparently used it time and time again is yet another weirdness. 

Well, the Inchoroi were doing ok when just fighting Viri, until Siöl came in and saved them.  This was definitely in no small part due to sorcery, but Viri must have had sorcerers of their own, so it's very unlikely that sorcery alone was over-matching them.  More likely is that sorcery and their greater numbers gave the Nonmen the advatage they needed.  If sorcery alone was so strong, there no reason why Siöl would have needed to retreat in the wake Nihrimsul and Cil-Aujas' revolutions.  In fact, that glossary says this fairly explicitly: "Eventually, all but the most powerful of the Inchoroi were overwhelmed by the valour, sorceries, and numbers of the host of Siöl"

I think why the No-God didn't get "used" earlier is because with Ark dead, none of them left knew how to use it.  The Sarcophagus, I don't think, wasn't made as an external weapon, it was part and parcel of Ark itself.  That is, as long as Ark functions, so does The Sarcophagus.  This is why it was that only after the Mangaecca got back into Ark do they realize what that whole apparatus was likely supposed to do.  Then the issue was figuring out how to boot it up manually, without Ark to do it itself.

I mean, I can't prove that a living Ark would be the be-all, end-all, but it's likely to have been enough to win the day early on.  Especially if it could have done something like spat out Wracu at a faster rate.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I don't think that's correct. I think they said that you can't just reduce the population; you have the reduce the population while the No-God is active. So they couldn't just nuke the planet if the No-God wasn't around. 

Well, I still think that functional Ark means fuctional No-God apparatus at all times.  But the part is:

Quote

“But why anything so elaborate?” the Anasûrimbor asked. “If the extermination of Men is your goal, then why not use the weapon you employed in Dagliash?”
And Malowebi could only think, No-God ...
The No-God lay before him.
“We could restore only one,” the unscathed Dûnyain said, mirrored in gold. “Even if more existed, they’re too indiscriminate, especially when used in numbers.”
“Our Salvation lies in the art of human extinction, not the fact,” his burnt brother explained
“Only the Object can Shut the World against the Outside,” the one-eyed Dûnyain explained.

Indeed, I do think you are right, that the No-God needs to be active, but I still think you can't just indiscriminately bomb everyone to oblivion with it active and have it work.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I don't see how Ark and Inchoroi knowing sorcery wouldn't be even more effective, and a hell of a lot cheaper than carrying around radioactive materials.

It might have been, but if the rest of the universe is plausibly anarcane ground (and it seems it was) there might not have been a real chance to develop a known solution to seeing the Onta, because they would have no where to see it.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I just don't see how it's useless. Point of fact, anarcane areas are apparently pretty rare in the universe. Now, if they're exceptionally common that'd be one thing - but if that's the case, all the Ark has to do is figure out that something is anarcane and then not bother with it.

I'm pretty sure it is just the opposite,  Arcane ground is rare.  It's why Eärwa is the Promised World.  The Progenitors home was entirely anarcane.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Well, I don't think it's hubris; to them, Inchoroi were as you say, little more than hammers. I don't expect anyone to design their house so that if humans end up not around the hammers can get back to work and make the house on their own. The fact that they enslaved their hammers to believe that they were going to hell and made them into hammers of zealotry is weird enough.

The Inchoroi were autonomous and fairly intelligent; they were, however, not progenitors, nor did they know enough to take over Ark. 

Right.  I mean, it's not a terrible plan unless Ark dies.  Which, of course, Ark died, so...

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4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Well, the Inchoroi were doing ok when just fighting Viri, until Siöl came in and saved them.  This was definitely in no small part due to sorcery, but Viri must have had sorcerers of their own, so it's very unlikely that sorcery alone was over-matching them.  More likely is that sorcery and their greater numbers gave the Nonmen the advatage they needed.  If sorcery alone was so strong, there no reason why Siöl would have needed to retreat in the wake Nihrimsul and Cil-Aujas' revolutions.  In fact, that glossary says this fairly explicitly: "Eventually, all but the most powerful of the Inchoroi were overwhelmed by the valour, sorceries, and numbers of the host of Siöl"

Sure, but without sorcery they're almost certainly hosed. And they definitely go out of their way to learn sorcery later, so they at least thought they needed that edge, especially since most of them died doing that. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

 I think why the No-God didn't get "used" earlier is because with Ark dead, none of them left knew how to use it.  The Sarcophagus, I don't think, wasn't made as an external weapon, it was part and parcel of Ark itself.  That is, as long as Ark functions, so does The Sarcophagus.  This is why it was that only after the Mangaecca got back into Ark do they realize what that whole apparatus was likely supposed to do.  Then the issue was figuring out how to boot it up manually, without Ark to do it itself. 

Right, but they don't even talk about it as a concept. Not only are they not trying to awake the thing, they don't appear to even comprehend what it is or what it does. Their first plan for success had absolutely nothing to do with the No-God, after all - it had to do with the womb plague. As far as the Inchoroi were concerned, all they were supposed to do was wipe out species. That's it. 

The Inchoroi, as far as I can tell, had not even an inkling that the No-God was key to this. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Indeed, I do think you are right, that the No-God needs to be active, but I still think you can't just indiscriminately bomb everyone to oblivion with it active and have it work.

I think you're wrong, because the Inchoroi did do this. From the above logic we see that the Inchoroi don't understand that they need the No-God  active; they only understand that they have to reduce populations. (This is also inferred by CAPSLOCK DRAGON talking about reducing world after world). We also vaguely know that they did use the bombs early on in their war against the nonmen, which means that they both knew how to use them and didn't have any prohibitions on using them beyond 'don't fuck up the planet too much'. Therefore, bomb use is perfectly fine provided the No-God is active

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

It might have been, but if the rest of the universe is plausibly anarcane ground (and it seems it was) there might not have been a real chance to develop a known solution to seeing the Onta, because they would have no where to see it.

I'm pretty sure it is just the opposite,  Arcane ground is rare.  It's why Eärwa is the Promised World.  The Progenitors home was entirely anarcane.

I get that - but that's the explanation used for why the progenitors didn't ever experience the Outside or anything like it before. But then they invented the Inverse Fire. My personal view is that if you can invent something that shows the literal damnation that your soul has forever experienced in hell via the Outside, you can also invent something to see the Onta. I could be wrong, and that's fine, but it's certainly not clear, and it's not obvious. 

4 minutes ago, .H. said:

Right.  I mean, it's not a terrible plan unless Ark dies.  Which, of course, Ark died, so...

Yeah, Ark crashing and dying is something that really should be explained as to why. Even if it's a throwaway line, something about how the noncausal drives they use being based on an actual (unknown to them) arcane principle that failed immediately when going to a place with a lot of arcane value, it should be explicitly stated. 

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Even more, here's a thought.

First they tried wiping everyone out with normal weapons. That didn't work. So they were all 'huh, well, we had this No-God thing that stopped births before, so maybe we have to stop births too' and created the womb plague. And then THAT didn't work. 

They were fucking cargo culting it the whole time. That makes so much more sense. Why didn't they wait out the womb plague, or why did they do it? Because as far as they knew they had to in order to make things work, because they had no understanding of what to do. They first knew they had to reduce the population, and then they knew that when they had the No-God, births stopped, so they tried that another way. So yeah, they were the fucking phone sanitary techs of the universe.

Oops.

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17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Because Kellhus changes it in like 3 weeks. It's clearly not the limits of gnostic sorcery. Furthermore, we see other innovators like Emilidis and Titirga who showcase more interesting aspects of spells as well. 

Kellhus is clearly not an ordinary genius. Same for Emilidis (worth noting that none of his fellow Quya could even duplicate his stuff), and Titirga (who was this weird accidental genius who is somehow merging gnostic sorcery with the Psukhe, and is described as being the most powerful sorcerer - Nonman or Man - who ever lived). 

Sorcery is not the Tekne. I think there's a degree of individuality in casting spells that is inherent to it. 

 

17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

What was that?

The TUC glossary entry for the Scarlet Spires says outright that they're the most innovative of the Anagogic Schools, with much of the Anagogic spell set coming from their research (including that "Dragonhead" spell they use to spray fire). 

 

16 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I realize they came from a world that was supposedly anarcane ground, but they didn't stay there, and their discovery of the Inverse Fire came after they traveled away from their own world and discovered the problems. 

Where does it say they discovered it while away from their world?

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

(an aside: I still don't understand why immortal beings would care about damnation. Another place Good Place gets right with the existential crisis episode; it's hard to care about ethics when you're immortal)

Even if they are medically immortal, they can still die to accident, treachery, murder, etc. Moreover, their ability to survive in the physical universe is ultimately finite - even if it takes quintillions of years and all the stars dying out, sooner or later they will end up in damnation (and that damnation will be eternal). 

18 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

They were fucking cargo culting it the whole time. That makes so much more sense.

That much is obvious, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered trying the "144,000" trick over and over again to failure. All they seemed to be going on was that there was a "promised world" somewhere where they could close off damnation.  

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6 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Tell me that shit at the end of TWP wasn't right out of the Eclipse. The Inchoroi even kind of looks like Femto the way its described, doesn't it? 

You're right - the parallels have an uncanny feel to them, though it is interesting to contrast them as well.

The God Hand are working to re-enchant the world, the Inchoroi to dis-enchant it.

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3 hours ago, .H. said:

I'm pretty sure it is just the opposite,  Arcane ground is rare.  It's why Eärwa is the Promised World.  The Progenitors home was entirely anarcane.

But it seems anarcane ground is rare on Earwa. What's odd is the No-God seems to possibly be impeded by anarcane areas?

Quote

The Heron Spear, which could not be used because the No-God refused to give battle, was lost. Kûniüri and all the great and ancient cities of the River Aumris were destroyed the following year. The Nonmen of Injor-Niyas retreated to Ishterebinth. Eämnor was laid waste the following year, though its capital, Atrithau, raised on anarcane ground, managed to survive.

Bakker, R. Scott. The Unholy Consult: The Aspect-Emperor: Book Four (The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy) (Kindle Locations 9534-9536). The Overlook Press. Kindle Edition.

 

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I think Proyas is pretty damned passionate and Cnaiur counts too despite being a bit nuts. In the case of Griffith, I see him as a "still waters run deep sort". He feels things strongly, but hides it. 

TBH, Berserk barely made me cry. TTT and TUC DID.

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13 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Oh yeah, there's a definite fire and ice vibe (in the Robert Frost sense, not the GRRM one) when you compare the two. I always describe Berserk as the Pshuke to TSA's Gnosis. The intellect on display in Bakker's writing is always very apparent. I'm constantly blown away by how far down the rabbit hole you guys can go with these discussions. The flipside of this, as many have noted, is that the characters can often feel devoid of emotion, cold. Griffith would be right at home in Earwa. Berserk is the opposite, it's all emotion. Guts's story is horrifying, and grotesque, and beautiful, and heartbreaking all at once. Berserk never made me think like TSA did, but TSA never made me cry like Berserk.

Beautifully put. I haven't seen Beserk except snippets, but from what I've heard it makes me think of Earwa's outside. Particularly that freaky red face thing I think you used to use for an avatar at one point.

Though I think TSA doesn't just go into the intellectual, it does span a spectrum between passion and intellect. If you compare it against some dry academics essay on philosophy you would have a contrast that shows a full on tilt towards the intellect only - I don't think TSA ends up there at all. I think and feel it's really more in the middle, where emotion conflicts with intellect and vise versa. And the people caught between those two forces.

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2 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

in that moment he did what he'd previously said a true friend would do in that situation.

If you're referring to the fountain speech, I really believe that the "what a true friend does" applied to every one but Guts. Like, every one else was allowed to leave, except for Guts. Every one got a choice, except for Guts. I don't think that's changed. 

With Kellhus, that seemed to apply to every one. :/

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On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

Sure, but without sorcery they're almost certainly hosed. And they definitely go out of their way to learn sorcery later, so they at least thought they needed that edge, especially since most of them died doing that. 

Right, I mean, I am not trying to make the case that sorcery isn't powerful.  It is demonstrably more powerful than most "conventional" weapons.  I'm just saying I don't see it being something that a fully functional Ark couldn't overcome by Tekne means, without having to resort to deducing and using sorcery itself.  Which, mind you, isn't a bad idea at all, just one that probably wouldn't be immediately necessary.

It's only since Ark is dead, most of the Tekne is lost, misunderstood or not understood at all, the Bios is only barely understood, and whatever process "makes" Inchoroi is gone, that the remaining Inchoroi find themselves in very dire straits.  At the point where only a couple hundred Inchoroi are left, I think A&A likely make the correct call that trying to gain sorcery is a good idea, but it likely came at too high a cost at that point anyway.

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

Right, but they don't even talk about it as a concept. Not only are they not trying to awake the thing, they don't appear to even comprehend what it is or what it does. Their first plan for success had absolutely nothing to do with the No-God, after all - it had to do with the womb plague. As far as the Inchoroi were concerned, all they were supposed to do was wipe out species. That's it. 

The Inchoroi, as far as I can tell, had not even an inkling that the No-God was key to this. 

Well, I mean, we don't know what was going on in their minds during the initial struggles of the Cûno-Inchoroi Wars, in regards to the "ultimate plan."  But I don't think they really understood at all what the whole plan was.  I think this is mainly because they really were just hammers and nails, where Ark was the "brain" of the whole operation.  So, Sil just decides that in lieu of knowing what to do, just do what they always did.  Then, once he is dead and they realize that the plan really isn't working does Aurang take over and it starts to dawn on them what was actually supposed to happen.  However, since they aren't really that smart, they crudely approximate what the No-God was supposed to do, thinking it would help.  I still stick with my idea that the Womb-Plague was really an attempt to recruit Nonmen.  That is, give them no real options for their future and so hopefully some would come over and help the Inchoroi.  In fact, it kind of worked...

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

I think you're wrong, because the Inchoroi did do this. From the above logic we see that the Inchoroi don't understand that they need the No-God  active; they only understand that they have to reduce populations. (This is also inferred by CAPSLOCK DRAGON talking about reducing world after world). We also vaguely know that they did use the bombs early on in their war against the nonmen, which means that they both knew how to use them and didn't have any prohibitions on using them beyond 'don't fuck up the planet too much'. Therefore, bomb use is perfectly fine provided the No-God is active.

That is plausible, like so many other things, we simply don't know enough about those bombs to know why they weren't used more extensively.  But it could be the case that they were used before but that Ark being dead means they simply couldn't really make more.

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

I get that - but that's the explanation used for why the progenitors didn't ever experience the Outside or anything like it before. But then they invented the Inverse Fire. My personal view is that if you can invent something that shows the literal damnation that your soul has forever experienced in hell via the Outside, you can also invent something to see the Onta. I could be wrong, and that's fine, but it's certainly not clear, and it's not obvious.

It is plausible, but since we don't really know how the Inverse Fire works, it's hard to say whether that really would lead directly to the Onta or not.  Like we discussed earlier, the Onta, the Mark and Damnation are different things.  So, just because they see Damnation, doesn't mean they have access to the Onta.  Especially if there is something of an "interaction" between anarcane ground and the Onta, that is, a lack of interaction.  We just don't know, again, like so much else.

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

Yeah, Ark crashing and dying is something that really should be explained as to why. Even if it's a throwaway line, something about how the noncausal drives they use being based on an actual (unknown to them) arcane principle that failed immediately when going to a place with a lot of arcane value, it should be explicitly stated.

Yeah, it would be neat to know.  Heck, Ark might even have been "powered" by "souls" of the Progenitors and somehow these got all fucked up in the different metaphysics of arcane ground...

On 11/21/2018 at 6:01 PM, Kalbear said:

First they tried wiping everyone out with normal weapons. That didn't work. So they were all 'huh, well, we had this No-God thing that stopped births before, so maybe we have to stop births too' and created the womb plague. And then THAT didn't work. 

They were fucking cargo culting it the whole time. That makes so much more sense. Why didn't they wait out the womb plague, or why did they do it? Because as far as they knew they had to in order to make things work, because they had no understanding of what to do. They first knew they had to reduce the population, and then they knew that when they had the No-God, births stopped, so they tried that another way. So yeah, they were the fucking phone sanitary techs of the universe.

Well, yes.  But even Bakker extra-textually told us that the Womb Plauge was initially devised as a way to "save" their Nonman allies.  In other words, they aimed to make the Nonmen over in Inchoroi image, that is, to recruit them.  There is a bit of a porblem with waiting though, which was that, because Sil was such an idiot, attacking so quickly out-of-hand, that they were at war.  Not only that, but Ark was not fully secure.  Again, were Ark alive and so likely much more secure, I think waiting is a better idea.  But with things as they were, so poorly understood, you have just given immortality to people who now want nothing more than to kill you.

It was a gambit, but one they likely felt they had no choice but to take.  It did not work out so great, because they ended up making a lot more enemies than they did allies.  But the Inchoroi were really getting down low in the very limited bag of tricks they could think of.  Again, because they weren't made to solve highly nuanced and complex tasks, they were made to kill things and not ask too many questions.

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Wasn't there a thing about the Inchoroi filling the "wells of the aborted" with their own dead during the Cuno-Inchoroi wars? I thought that was their first attempt at awakening the No-God on Earwa? Or was it just about grafting the ability to see the onta?

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31 minutes ago, Hello World said:

Wasn't there a thing about the Inchoroi filling the "wells of the aborted" with their own dead during the Cuno-Inchoroi wars? I thought that was their first attempt at awakening the No-God on Earwa? Or was it just about grafting the ability to see the onta?

To see the Onta.

It was said extra-textually by Bakker:

Quote

Is Aurang special amongst the Inchoroi in his ability to use Sorcery? Or were all Inchoroi, his brother included, amongst the Few? 

The Inchoroi only possessed the Tekne when they arrived in Eärwa. All of the Inchoroi are the products of successive Graftings, species-wide rewrites of their genotype, meant to enhance various abilities and capacities, such as the ability to elicit certain sexual responses from their victims (via pheromone locks), or the capacity to ‘tune sensations’ and so explore the vagaries and vicissitudes of carnal pleasure. The addition of anthropomorphic vocal apparatuses is perhaps the most famous of these enhancements.

The Grafting that produced Aurang and Aurax was also devised during the age-long C no-Inchoroi Wars, one of many failed attempts to biologically redesign themselves to overcome the Nonmen. But they had been outrun by their debauchery by this time, and had lost any comprehensive understanding of the Tekne. The Graftings had become a matter of guesswork, more likely to kill than enhance those who received them. The Inchoroi filled the Wells of the Aborted with their own in those days.

Aurang and Aurax are two of six who survived the attempt to Graft the ability to see the onta.

It's actually not ever mentioned in the books.  At least, not that I could find...

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34 minutes ago, Hello World said:

Wasn't there a thing about the Inchoroi filling the "wells of the aborted" with their own dead during the Cuno-Inchoroi wars? I thought that was their first attempt at awakening the No-God on Earwa? Or was it just about grafting the ability to see the onta?

I believe Bakker mentioned it in an interview. From context it seemed like the Inchoroi depleted their numbers by attempting various grafts which included but weren't limited to the grafts used to see the Onta.

So it's likely the Progenitors never apprehended the Onta in the way Earwan magi do. Even if they did perceive it via their scientific instruments they probably thought of it as a field of some sort rather than the path to a magic they don't believe in.

edit: ah you found the quote above, nice.

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55 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

edit: ah you found the quote above, nice.

I'm old, it takes a while to dredge the Well of My Pitiful Brain in these days.

55 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

So it's likely the Progenitors never apprehended the Onta in the way Earwan magi do. Even if they did perceive it via their scientific instruments they probably thought of it as a field of some sort rather than the path to a magic they don't believe in.

Right.  The Onta is just “Creation as created.”  It's not even really clear to me what that means, outside the context of sorcery.  But in absence of sorcery, all of creation is creation as created.  I guess it's more about being able to see it as Serwa describes it (in chapter 7 of TGO).  That is, everything as "Unreal" and only the sort of self-moving things as Real.  That doesn't really answer if the Progenitors could have scientifically discovered the phenomina.  I mean, perhaps the problem is that even if they did, they couldn't use it for sorcery, since only Eärwa is arcane ground.  So, maybe they knew of it, but as far as they could have experimentally determined, it was unchangeable.

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On 11/19/2018 at 7:14 AM, .H. said:

.  I mean, it seems like an obvious next step, but so would, say, the Inca having used wheels.  They seem to have known of them conceptually, but seemingly they didn't see the use in them, so never bothered to develop them.

Inca lived geographically in extremely steep mountains and thus all their roads were built as stairs with 60 degree grades. Wheels, in this society and culture and facing these geographical and human engineering constraints generally have _negative_ utility if used in the way that other societies used them for transport.

but beasts of burden that can navigate steps like that, llama llama, have extremely high utility. 

Its sort of like asking why Bedouin only use camels and not a lots of big wheeled carts to navigate loose sand deserts. No one asks that question because it’s ridiculous on its face. But the same understanding is not applied to the Incan mountains. supporting a narrative of the technological failures of native south Americans helps us feel better about the extermination of those peoples, they were lesser (didn’t even know about the wheel, practically monkeys really!) and therefore sort of deserved to be wiped out and replaced by us the wheel using deserving ones.

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And as I understand it things like China having such good porcelain that they didn't really develop glass - so they didn't develop lenses, telescopes and begin observing other planets in closer detail. Depends which tech tree you go down. And whether there seems to be any other path to take.

*pulls twig out of sandal*

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21 hours ago, lokisnow said:

Inca lived geographically in extremely steep mountains and thus all their roads were built as stairs with 60 degree grades. Wheels, in this society and culture and facing these geographical and human engineering constraints generally have _negative_ utility if used in the way that other societies used them for transport.

but beasts of burden that can navigate steps like that, llama llama, have extremely high utility. 

Its sort of like asking why Bedouin only use camels and not a lots of big wheeled carts to navigate loose sand deserts. No one asks that question because it’s ridiculous on its face. But the same understanding is not applied to the Incan mountains. supporting a narrative of the technological failures of native south Americans helps us feel better about the extermination of those peoples, they were lesser (didn’t even know about the wheel, practically monkeys really!) and therefore sort of deserved to be wiped out and replaced by us the wheel using deserving ones.

Yeah, I know that.  I mean, you only just proved exactly what I was pointing out.  That in the absence of a definite need there is no impetus to develop things.  I don't support any such ideas that anyone was "lesser" or that Western actions in these places was at all "justified."  If you consider the words I actually used and the context in which I did, I am saying that a wheel SEEMS like an obvious next step and all you did was point out how that SEEMING is not ACTUALLY a logical next step, for several key reasons.  I am not spinning some racist yarn.  In fact, just the opposite.  I am pointing out that our "western" idea of "progress" is mostly bull-shit.

The same idea could be seen in the Antikythera mechanism, which demonstrates that some ideas, techniques, technology can exist yet never disseminate or find "practical use."  So, where it would appear logical for our modern minds that if such a thing did exist, it could and should have been developed further and advanced upon.  In reality, that isn't how things likely worked in pre-modern times.

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2 hours ago, .H. said:

Yeah, I know that.  I mean, you only just proved exactly what I was pointing out.  That in the absence of a definite need there is no impetus to develop things.  I don't support any such ideas that anyone was "lesser" or that Western actions in these places was at all "justified."  If you consider the words I actually used and the context in which I did, I am saying that a wheel SEEMS like an obvious next step and all you did was point out how that SEEMING is not ACTUALLY a logical next step, for several key reasons.  I am not spinning some racist yarn.  In fact, just the opposite.  I am pointing out that our "western" idea of "progress" is mostly bull-shit.

The same idea could be seen in the Antikythera mechanism, which demonstrates that some ideas, techniques, technology can exist yet never disseminate or find "practical use."  So, where it would appear logical for our modern minds that if such a thing did exist, it could and should have been developed further and advanced upon.  In reality, that isn't how things likely worked in pre-modern times.

I’m not accusing anyone specifically, that would be absurd. I was speaking broadly about the common sense cultural assumptions underpinning western society which is why we have popular automatic myths/memes about incans and wheels (et al) that are deployed ad infinitum.

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1 minute ago, lokisnow said:

I’m not accusing anyone specifically, that would be absurd. I was speaking broadly about the common sense cultural assumptions underpinning western society which is why we have popular automatic myths/memes about incans and wheels (et al) that are deployed ad infinitum.

OK, well, my bad.

Yes, though, Western ideals tend to presuppose the primacy of "Western ideals."  In fact, part of that is the ideal that the "ideals" even exist, that is, are ideal.  In fact, there are plenty of reasonable ways to live in the world, none of which are necessarily better than others (except plausibly ones "better" at making it easier to justify forcing ideologies on others in the name of "progress").

So, again, my point was that in presuming that they should use Sorcery to make roads presupposes that more roads were necessarily needed and so they were dumb to not apply sorcerous knowledge to engineering.  In fact, nothing really tells us that those possessing sorcery cared much about roads, or civil engineering for that matter.  It's plausible that the Scarlet Spires could have gone that direction, but having ready access to a very bust port, it's also plausible that they saw no real need to make an extensive road network that would require the use for sorcery.  Not to mention, would the Spires, who were already rich and generally considered themselves superior to everyone, lower themselves to civil servants?  Why would the Mandate want to make roads for everyone?  I think the Imerial Saik is largely viewed as "dogs on a very short leash" so "elevating" them to the role of engineers seems unlikely and again, presumes the Empire had a need for more roads anyway.

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And Bakker said he was interested in a story where “the roads ran out” which is why kellhus didn’t have roads built beyond sarkarpus but did have other infrastructure like granaries built.

earwa doesn’t really have much in the way of complicated economics like Game of Thrones because Bakker isn’t that interested in economics. Thus sorcery is driven by what Bakker finds interesting, philosophical wanking, and is immune from market forces.

which creates a plot hole because the mandate have bartered education with the conriyans in exchange for political support, which indicates there is an existing market schools are willing to  participate in, but like a lot of the other world building, Bakker ignores the implications of bits of throwaway detail like that because developing details like that would interfere with the philosophy details.

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